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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, im super new here, total guitar newb, i dont even know how to play a guitar. Always love rock, metal, grunge, etc etc. I can also appreciate talented musicianship, i do own a drum set, but i suck.

So as of the past few years i've really started listening to Steve Vai, and am blown away by his playing. So it got me thinking on maybe trying guitar.

Now im also into antique, vintage and collectable things, anything that floats my boat really.
So long story short, id love to pick up a vintage Jem to start playing on. I found this 1990 Jem 777vbk for sale and id like you jem freaks opinion, ill attach some pics, but i know pics are hard to judge.

The seller says it does have a buzzing fret, im guessing the fret is loose, he said it would possibly have to be reglued on.

It has 2 paint chips as seen in the pics, one scratch on the back of the head stock, and the tremolo looks oxidized a bit, im guessing its in "good" shape for 28 years old. He says the finish is still really good. So i offered him $1550, He said he doesnt hate the offer and will think about it.
Also, if i were to refurbish this, while keeping it original, will the value improve or be negatively effected.

How does fixing paint chips and re fretting effect value?

So all information from you guys would be appreciated


k
 

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Nobody?
Is it worth the 1550 considering its condition, would it be worth fixing it up for that price?
Fret buzz is usually caused by uneven wear on the fretboard, it sounds like the guitar will need a full fret level and crowning, since I don't know where you live I've no idea how much this will cost, go ask your local luthier how much for a level, crown and full setup before you commit to buying it.
 

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Look at the trem; seems like the trem post of the bass side is loose in an oblonged cavity that needs to be fixed. Check it out carefully.
 

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Look at the trem; seems like the trem post of the bass side is loose in an oblonged cavity that needs to be fixed. Check it out carefully.
Good spot, because basswood = balsawood, you can pretty much guarantee any guitar this old will need dowelling and redrilling.

OP, this JEM needs professional help and as such is overpriced, look for a better condition instrument since you'll end up spending nearly $2k on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is his response to my buzzing fret concern.

"The frets are good. It’s only one spot, not the whole neck. First fret, high E string. Pretty sure the second fret just lifted a bit due to non use.
I hardly ever played this guitar, my other Jem was my go to guitar and after 28 years the frets on that one are still good with 1000’s of hours in them."
 

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This is his response to my buzzing fret concern.

"The frets are good. It's only one spot, not the whole neck. First fret, high E string. Pretty sure the second fret just lifted a bit due to non use.
I hardly ever played this guitar, my other Jem was my go to guitar and after 28 years the frets on that one are still good with 1000's of hours in them."
If that guitar was hardly used why does it look so beat up?

Dude, do what you want but whatever happens budget for the work to be done by a professional ok.
 

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I didn't notice the trem issue... I'm reconsidering my reply, and would not buy it.

Old guitars are always a potential source of problems, and that VBK looks like it may be a headache for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's why I'm here to get advice from you guys.
So now I'm thinking about backing out unless he decides to drop his price. Unfortunately I can't see it in person since he's in Canada.

I asked about the tremolo post and he says it fine.
Maybe I'll ask for a better picture of this.
 

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That's why I'm here to get advice from you guys.
So now I'm thinking about backing out unless he decides to drop his price. Unfortunately I can't see it in person since he's in Canada.

I asked about the tremolo post and he says it fine.
Maybe I'll ask for a better picture of this.
Get a picture of this imaginary fret issue too, close-ups can very revealing.

It's cheap for a reason, you're a noob and he'll have your pants down if he can because you're unlikely to return it.
 

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Pass.

Regardless of it's condition, I don't think the JEM is a good "starter" guitar no matter how much cash you have to spend. Especially a 28 year old one. The trem is going to give you fits unless you block it. Sure you could fix the bridge in seconds but as others posted above you're getting a what looks like very played-out axe that might need TLC and also is well beyond your needs.

I highly recommend a fixed bridge axe so you can learn intonating notes, touch & vibrato. Later on after you get some ability you can buy a trick guitar with double-locking trem. Vai didn't start on a JEM or a "super strat". Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He said he decided to change the strings and the buzz went away. So I asked him if he could show me the fret in question and he said it couldn't be seen accurately in a pic, he said it may be 100th of an inch raised.
Who knows, but I passed.
 
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